A 40-year-old taxi driver was seriously injured early Tuesday morning in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district when a male passenger stabbed him twice in the neck before driving off in his taxicab, police said.
The victim, Touch Vuth, told police that he picked up the passenger, who was about 30 years old, at 1:40 a.m. at the Night Market in Daun Penh district and drove him to Tuol Sangke commune in Russei Keo district, but when they got to the destination, the suspect changed his mind and told the driver to go instead to Prek Eng commune in Meanchey district.
“When they arrived in Tuol Ta Chan village, the suspect told the driver to stop the taxi, pulled out a small knife and then attacked him with it, stabbing him twice in the neck,” said Svay Dara, deputy police chief of Prek Eng commune.
The victim also suffered lacerations on his right hand as he tried to protect himself, but he managed to open the driver’s side door and ran into the street calling for help, while his attacker sped off in the taxi, Svay Dara said.
Passersby came to Mr. Vuth’s aid and a fellow taxi driver brought him to a local clinic where, on seeing the severity of his injuries, staff called an ambulance to transport the victim to Calmette Hospital.
Veal Sbov commune police chief Nov Dara said his officers later found the taxi abandoned 20 meters off National Road 1 near Santepheap Water Park in Meanchey district’s Veal Sbov commune.
Police believe that the suspect had intended to murder the driver and then steal his car but changed his mind after the victim escaped the attack.
“The knife was discovered inside the car, and a bloodied shirt was found discarded about 80 meters away from the taxi,” Svay Dara said, adding that police had not yet identified the suspect but that an investigation was underway.